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Thursday, June 5, 2008

Jeff Jarrett Interview From Between The Ropes

Courtesy of Adam Samons:

Between The Ropes
Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008
ESPN Florida AM 1080 and AM 1060
Simulcast online at BetweenTheRopes.com

On Tuesday night, June 3rd, TNA Wrestling Executive Vice President and Co-Founder Jeff Jarrett joined hosts Brian Fritz, Dickerman, and Vito DeNucci live on Between The Ropes on ESPN Florida AM 1080 and AM 1060 to discuss the current state of TNA, the timeline of his return to the ring, the Ultimate Warrior, and much more.

The interview began with Jeff chatting about how his annual "State of the Union" interview with Between the Ropes had become something of a tradition, despite having missed last year.

Jeff talked about how long it will be until we see him return to the ring and end his lengthy layoff. Jeff said he's returned to the gym and that "I told myself when I stepped out of the ring I wasn't going to rush anything…Obviously I've had some things that have distracted me over the last year and a half that put my priorities in other places, but I'm getting the itch again." Asked if there was any chance we'd see him at Slammiversary Jeff said "There's always a chance in professional wrestling, but it's slim and none."

Next Jeff talked about how both his personal life and professional have been going over the last year. He described the loss of his wife and high school sweetheart as causing "Immeasurable pain." On a brighter note he said that he couldn't ask for more from his professional life without being greedy. Jeff highlighted TNA's television ratings, soon to be released video game, and international development as highpoints and said that that TNA is "really hitting on all cylinders."

Next up Jeff was asked to respond to the criticisms of TNA frequent use of gimmick matched. Jeff responded "It's fun to be an armchair quarterback, it's fun to look back and criticize and that's what makes wrestling fans so passionate…at the end of the day we strive to put out the very best professional wrestling product. Sometimes the criticisms come from people without them knowing the full hand we've been dealt. That's okay with me, as long as you're talking about us, good or bad. It's when you quite talking about a product that you have issues."

Jeff was then asked to address what he thought would improve TNA's pay per view numbers and he highlighted three specific things that he feel are required for strong pay per view numbers. 1) An established brand, 2) marketing power, and 3) something Jeff described as "a publicity stunt or something that catches the main stream appeal"

Following up on that question Jeff talked about TNA's need for a "breakout star." Jeff explained that past breakout stars "weren't necessarily great wrestlers or even great talkers, but they have that 'it factor'. They were at the right place at the right time and it catches on. You never know what the future holds once you have that mega star." Jeff then talked about the man many people see as TNA's potential mega star, Samoa Joe. "He is a phenomenal talent and he has the 'it factor.' His success is yet to be determined. You can't judge a guy over a three month period…You've got to get behind someone and go with them, stick with them and find out what happens."

Lastly Jeff commented on the possibility of the Ultimate Warrior coming to TNA. While he at first downplayed the possibility of it happening he did say that some buzz was created when Sting talked about how he broke into the business with the Ultimate Warrior and hinted that "it would be unique if something were to happen" between the two of them.

To listen to the entire Jeff Jarrett interview, including what he thinks TNA's current identity is as a wrestling company and TNA's relationship with Spike TV, as well as the entire June 3rd edition of Between The Ropes in streaming audio, visit the show online at http://www.BetweenTheRopes.com. In addition to listening to this weeks show you can become a site member and access hundreds of previous Between The Ropes shows and interviews. Join us for Between The Ropes for two hours every Tuesday night at 6:00pm ET on ESPN Florida AM 1080 and AM 1060 and worldwide on BetweenTheRopes.com.